Zarif Goes To Parliament To Answer Lawmakers' Questions But No One Shows Up
Radio Farda May 13, 2020
The Islamic Republic Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, went to parliament on May 11 to answer questions raised by several legislators, but the lawmakers failed to appear.
Criticizing his peers, a member to Majles (Iranian parliament), Alireza Rahimi, tweeted on Tuesday, "As a fully responsible person, Zarif attended the parliament to respond to ten questions raised by the members of Majles' National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, but none of the inquirers emerged."
According to Rahimi, the parliament's National Security Commission was tasked with holding the meeting and the minister was required to attend, but, surprisingly, it appeared that the lawmakers did not need any answers.
"Not a single member was present at the meeting, and this is against the dignity of the parliament", Khabar Online cited Rahimi saying.
It is not clear what questions parliament members intended to ask, but the spokesman of the powerful National Security and Foreign Policy, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, said that while in Majles Zarif expanded on his recent comments about Iran's unconditional readiness to exchange prisoners with the U.S.
"We will not negotiate with the United States at all, and the exchange of prisoners will be done in coordination with the U.S. interest section at Swiss Embassy in Tehran," Naqavi Hosseini quoted Zarif as saying.
The lawmakers in question were predominantly of the so-called conservative camp dominating politics in Iran.
It is unprecedented to see an Islamic Republic minister and his deputies attending a parliamentary session to respond to MPs' questions, while the inquirers did not care to appear.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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